The barrier holding me back was myself. I would constantly overthink and start to doubt situations when things got stressful.” These are the words of Eduardo, a 2022 graduate of L.C. Bird High School. Earlier in the 21-22 school year he was close to dropping out. The stress of going through a pandemic as a young person, and managing through all of the other challenges that come with being a teenager, caused Eduardo to struggle with extreme anxiety and a lack of confidence. Things began to change after he got a call from LaQuita Hailstock, the CIS Reengagement Coordinator at L.C. Bird.
In this role, Ms. Hailstock’s primary focus was to reach out to the most disengaged seniors at the school – those on the verge of dropping out – helping them get back on track to graduate. “I was able to support him by providing coaching and mentoring. He often doubted his abilities to accomplish things in school. I told him that he has the abilities, and that I was there to encourage him to tap into them.” Eduardo started talking to Ms. Hailstock every day about his goals, interests, and dreams for his future. “No matter the issues, you constantly told me that if I just do a little bit each day, then each little bit will help me succeed,” Eduardo shared of their relationship.